Review Summary: A surprisingly very strong EP release from a young band with loads of potential.
3 of 3 thought this review was well written
Painted In Exile are a band who have gained some recent notoriety in the Metal community, especially in the Progressive Metalcore community. It seems like more and more bands who have the the word "core" at the end of their genre title are trying to become more progressive and technical nowadays. Some bands can actually pull it off, while others fail miserably. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Many will say that it certainly is. Seeing that the Deathcore and Metalcore genre's are growing extremely stagnant and becoming filled to the brim with more and more generic bands striving to copy one another, the arrival of bands trying to be something different is certainly a breathe of fresh air. Painted In Exile are not only a band who set themselves apart from the pack, but they manage to do so without coming across as forced or contrived.
"Revitalized" is a fantastic EP filled with all kinds of progressive elements, successfully meshing all genre's from Technical Death Metal, to Hardcore, to Jazz, to Black Metal, to even....Rap. Its truly an extremely surprising release, seeing that Painted In Exile is still a very young band in its entirety. However, don't let any of that fool you. The bands' songwriting is top notch and the album is filled with soaring leads, brutal breakdowns, pounding blast beats, and even extremely Jazzy interludes in the vein of Jazz greats such as Wes Montgomery and Pat Metheny. Believe me, there is plenty here for everyone, and I DO mean everyone. Many would wonder how Painted In Exile could successfully mesh all of these genre's and sounds together without sounding like they were overdoing it; however, the band manages to mesh all of these things together and make them fit perfectly into a perfect combination of heavy, ambient, melodic, soft, and, often times, epic Metal. Its truly inspiring to hear a band who has successfully taken so many elements from different genre's and made them all fit together so perfectly.
There are only three songs on "Revitalized," but that doesn't stop the EP from clocking in at somewhere around 27 minutes. Every song is over 8 minutes long in length; however, no song overstays its welcome, and each has its own distinct sound and feel to it. The first song, "Revitalized," is a fantastic opener, displaying all of the elements that make Painted In Exile the original band they are, including a catchy singing section, a smooth jazz instrumental section, and some of the album's best riffs. All of the songs manage to have something very distinct about them, including something new in every song, which keeps the listening experience fresh and exciting. For example, the second song on the EP, "Distanced By Dissonance," starts off light and eventually develops into a Symphonic Black Metal song and shortly transitions into a breakdown. This is just an example of how Painted In Exile use countless genre influences in there music to continue giving the listener something new to chew on.
Now, while this EP did impress me, I do happen to have a couple of problems that kept me from getting into this as much as I wanted to. One of the things that really aggravated me at times about this EP was the vocalist, Rob Richards', singing parts. While he is a great singer and while the parts are catchy, I often found his singing extremely over the top and a little ridiculous sounding at times. Sometimes he seemed to just use too much vibrato or slur his words to a point where it seemed ridiculous, and this is where I started to flinch and grit my teeth a little bit. As well, his rapping at the beginning of "Skylines" is absolutely horrid and completely unnecessary, adding absolutely nothing at all to the song. It really is a shame, seeing how "Skylines" is probably the best song on the EP.
In the end, Painted In Exile have constructed an extremely ambitious EP release that is worthy of any Progressive Metalhead's attention. The band manages to successfully build onto a sound and style that bands like Between The Buried and Me are responsible for originating; however. Painted In Exile manage to be different and, for that alone, are worthy of a listen.
"Nice review man. These guys are very BTBAM-ish, so anyone into that stuff should check this out.
The intro to Skylines is just awful though."
Thanks, bro! I appreciate it man. Yea, these guys are hugely influenced by BTBAM; however, they still manage to find their own original sound, which is why I like them so much.
I really don't know what they were thinking allowing the vocalist rap like e did at the beginning of Skylines. The part is HORRIBLE. It sounds like a mixture of Limp Bizkit and The Insane Clwon Posse, which are two of the worst things you could EVER mix together. I often wonder how the band hasn't caught any flack for Rob using the word "nigga" in the lyrics as well, cause I pretty sure he's white, lol!
"I really don't know what they were thinking allowing the vocalist rap like e did at the beginning of Skylines. The part is HORRIBLE. It sounds like a mixture of Limp Bizkit and The Insane Clwon Posse, which are two of the worst things you could EVER mix together. I often wonder how the band hasn't caught any flack for Rob using the word "nigga" in the lyrics as well, cause I pretty sure he's white, lol! "
I wondered that too!!! He's white and they're from Long Island, meaning they probably play a lot in the actual city, which...well not to be racist or anything, but there are a lot of black folks that live in the city...that probably wouldn't be too fond of him using the word, even if it is in a musical context.
That being said, if BTBAM can throw in polka and the like, I don't think the rap part is horribly out of place, they just shoulda toned it down a bit, and maybe not tried to make it sound like nu-metal at it's worst. They probably only did it because they could, I mean, they're thinking out of the box, which isn't a problem.
Not to mention their keys/synth player, seriously one of the best keys player in a band this progressive that actually is relevant and heard through out the whole song and is not only highlighted during a breakdown.
They sound like a more deathcore-orientated BtBaM, with more noticeable breakdowns and some random jazz sections. Very good in an embryonic sense, speaks of much potential for the future.
For those who are being put off by it, the rap in the opening of Skyline is apparently done purely for the irony. It would seem that Painted in Exile do not take themselves even slightly seriously, which is evident from their extremely goofy music video for Revitalized.